Jammu and Kashmir is among 14 states and UTs where Avian Influenza among commercially reared and wild birds has been confirmed, the government said on Friday.
In Jammu and Kashmir context, Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, informed Rajya Sabha that the avian influenza cases have been confirmed in Kulgam, Anantnag, Budgam, Pulwama, Baramulla, Poonch and Udhampur districts.
The species affected, he said, include “crows and poultry”.
Besides J&K, the minister said that avian influenza cases have been confirmed from Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and New Delhi.
Responding to the questions by a parliamentarian Anand Sharma, the minister said that advisories were issued to States/UTs for increased surveillance and biosecurity in poultry farms before onset of winter due to arrival of migratory birds during winter.
The states and UTs have been asked to increase surveillance around water bodies, live bird markets, zoos, poultry farms, etc., and also carry out proper disposal of carcasses, strengthening of biosecurity in and around poultry farms, restrict movement of poultry from infected zones and taking preparatory measures— maintaining sufficient stock of PPE kits and accessories, disinfectants and other logistics required for control operations.
They were also asked to set up a central control room to monitor daily progress of preventive and control measures, he said.
The states and UTs have been requested to ensure effective communication and coordination with Health and Forest authorities for close vigilance of the disease status to avoid any chance of jumping of the disease into humans.
“As per information gathered, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a detailed guidance note on safe handling, processing and consumption of poultry meat and eggs during bird flu outbreak,” he said as per the reply, a copy of which lies with GNS.
As per the Action Plan, he said, there is a provision for compensating poultry farmers for forced culling of poultry and destruction of eggs and poultry feed.
The Department, under the Assistance to States for Control of Animal Disease (ASCAD ) component, provides financial assistance for such compensation, he added.